New Indiana Pacers head Rick Carlisle is excited about his new gig as he is hoping to lead the Pacers to an NBA title. After spending 13 years with the Dallas Mavericks, Carlisle parted ways with the Mavericks following their playoff exit.
"This is my kind of team. As I look at the roster and as I've talked to all these guys, I have an even greater feeling that it's a group of guys I will have a blast working with," he said. "I like the way they're talking. We're going to find a way to play better defense and we've got to get back to the playoffs and win in the playoffs." The Pacers fired coach Nate Bjorkgren following their end to the season.
"We're in a win-now mode, we're trying to win and so we identified some traits or characteristics we wanted in a coach," Pacers president of basketball operation Kevin Pritchard said. "Those characteristics were first of all multiyear experience, we really wanted to have someone who had a championship pedigree and that can be challenging to find all of them in one person.
What happened in this year's search is Rick became available."
Carlisle sets high goals
"My goal with this group is to develop it to a point where we take great joy in getting good shots on the offensive end and take great joy in playing good defense," he said before addressing the Domantas Sabonis-Myles Turner combination.
"I think there are ways we can work with their individual games and help them mesh with other guys on the floor. I've talked to both of them about it, and they're open to it. Myles is such an elite rim protector and that's such an important part of the game if you're going to get better defensively.
And Domas, as I mentioned earlier, can do so many things." Carlisle knows well how to manage players who have physical issues. "If a guy has a significant injury history and you play him the first 12 minutes of the game, that's tough," he said.
"As a guy becomes fatigued, he becomes more susceptible to injury. So one of the things we did with Dirk Nowitzki the year we won the championship is we started playing him three stretches per half. In that scenario, playing those six- or seven-minute stretches, he never gets gassed and he helps the players around him."